Pasear y Conocer

A group singing in the plaza del Sol.

So if you ask 80% of our visa applicants why they want to go to the U.S. you get “Para pasear y conocer,” (best literal translation is to walk and to learn) I have to admit until now I’ve sort of mentally grimaced every time someone says that. Really? Can’t we be a little more specific? But after 2 hours in Guadalajara I’ve decided that is a totally valid answer. I spent most of my little hour walk doing what could only be described as “pasear-ing and conocer-ing”. I just sort of strolled down the street from my hotel room and gawked. Guadalajara is for starters incredibly cool a the moment, and by cool I mean a delightful low 80’s. After the soul-searing heat of Juarez, it is positively wonderful to just be able to walk outside without feeling like I need a shower 30 seconds later. Like Mexico city there are also trees and people on the streets. I walked through shopping center next to the hotel, Plaza del Sol, and there was a group singing in the middle of the plaza for independence day. It is nice to experience a Mexican city with a bit more of a city life. These are kinds of things I love about New York. You never know what you are going to find around the next corner. I’m looking forward to exploring more of the city in the next few weeks. Not to be down on Juarez, I really am enjoying my tour there and if I had to bid again knowing what I know now I would probably have put it as a high on my list, but still it is nice to see another side of Mexico!

I’ve found in my limited experiences traveling in Mexico that I have pretty good window Spanish at this point and pretty good tourist Spanish. Meaning I can adjudicate a visa without too much of a problem and I can make a reservation, order food, call a taxi, ect. with a minimum of mishaps. Where I completely fall down is when people actually try to have a conversation with me. Thursday night there was a representational event at the CG’s house which was a good way to actually talk with people from the community and even with my limited Spanish I did manage to have a few good conversations and meet new people, but those types of situations make me realize how limited I am. Also when the guy next to me on the plane tried to talk to me, it really didn’t happen. I guess it is a work in progress. Now off to pasear and conocer the Chili’s that obligingly just arrived at my room. Yes, I realize I am lame for ordering in from one of the most American restaurants out there, but I’m using the excuse that I’m old and tired from my flight. Never mind that it was three hours. 😉

5 Responses to “Pasear y Conocer”


  • Please do not become a Chivas fan!

  • No worries on that account! The only “football” I’ve ever really gotten into is Aussie Rules Football. Though I can see that the Chivas are quite the heroes here by all the merchandise they sell on the streets.

  • … and all throughout Mexico, and the U.S. as well. I don’t mind that people in Guadalajara love their team, but does the whole continent have to love them?

  • I love this post, because we get the “pasear/conocer” line ourselves all the time in Guayaquil, and had a similar revelation a few weekends ago.

    …But it still doesn’t annoy me less when the 62nd consecutive applicant uses it…and it’s always to Union City, NJ.

    Worse yet is the renewal cases that say they were “paseando” for 5 months. 5 months?!

  • Glad to know we aren’t the only ones grimacing when we hear “pasear and conocer!” Union, New Jersey? Wow… I hear it about El Paso, which is probably similarly fabulous but since it is 5 minutes away it makes a little more sense. Unless I’m not remembering Union, NJ very well (I was there once for a day), I can’t imagine actually buying a plane ticket to go there! 😉 And 5 months… not so much. I did ask a woman claiming to be a nun once what she wanted to conocer in the U.S. and she blinked at me and looked panicked and then said “um… compras?” And it got successively worse from there… 😉

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